Much more than a fashion statement, jewellery can hold a wealth of sentiment and emotion for its wearer. As part of our #UncoverYourTreasure campaign, we asked some of the WNDRLND family of designers to uncover their most special jewellery treasures and will be sharing these fascinating and heart-warming stories with you soon on the WNDRLND Blog. To start off, we take a look inside the jewellery box of WNDRLND Founder, Gillian Murray to discover some of her most treasured pieces.
UNCOVERING MY JEWELLERY TREASURES – GILLIAN MURRAY
My jewellery box is actually a jewellery chest of drawers! A treasure in itself, I bought it at auction some 20 years ago and it probably only holds a third of my full jewellery collection – yes, I am a jewellery addict!
One of my most treasured pieces is a white gold and diamond Cross Pendant. My Grandad always knew I wanted one and when he died in 2002, my Gran took me shopping to Glasgow Argyll Arcade and told me he had left some money aside, asking her to take me to choose one as a gift from him. It holds so much sentiment and meaning for me and I wear it when I need strength. It’s like having my guardian angel around my neck each time I wear it. It goes with everything. Sometimes it is proudly on show alone, at other times I wear it with other not-so-sentimental pieces and sometimes it is just hidden under a jumper but I always know it is there.
This sterling silver Baby Bracelet was a gift from my Mum when I was around one year old and she gave it to me to keep as an adult. It fascinates me to think that I was ever that small and I often look at it and wonder, was this my first step into my jewellery obsession?! I never actually wear it for obvious reasons. In fact, a member of the WNDRLND jewellery designer family kindly offered to turn it into a wearable piece of jewellery like a ring. But I just couldn’t. I have to keep it in its original design. I may not remember wearing it but it takes me back to a very happy childhood and my fascination with all things jewellery.
This gold-plated American army-inspired Charm Bracelet consists of several charms; a horse, an army helmet, an army boot, a tank and a red gemstone with gold-coloured encasing and the words United States Army. It was purchased in Singapore by my mother in the 70’s, my father was posted there when he was in the British Army. Although he left the army when I was young, it has always been part of my life. For some reason I have always had an affinity with the Far East. Growing up, I even thought I had lived in Singapore but alas it turns out my father was posted to Germany just before I was born so I never got to live there! I also love the fact that it looks vintage (over 45 years old) and even though charm bracelets are very accessible, this one just isn’t like anything you ever see. I stack it, which I am currently into doing with bracelets, and I really don’t have any rules around when I wear it, I just go with how I feel and my particular look that day.
When I was studying Fashion at art school, I took on a weekend job at a jewellers. There, I was always given the much enjoyable job of cleaning the ‘vintage’ (basically second hand!) window. One Sunday morning I was cleaning the jewellery in the window and as usual, I would try on all the rings. That particular day, I was enjoying trying on a huge, approximately 5-carat solitaire ring. I had never seen a diamond so large this close up. As I put it back in its display, I noticed a white gold, Art Deco-inspired baguette and round cut diamond ring sitting right beside it. How I didn’t notice it, I’ll never know as I loved it so much more than the 5-carat ring! I had never owned diamonds prior and combined with Art Deco being a period I loved, I just had to have it. It wasn’t the most expensive ring, but for me, it meant saving up my wages and luckily, my manager allowed me to pay for it in instalments. In over 20 years I have lost two of the baguette diamonds, scored one of the baguettes (yes, I managed to score a diamond, the hardest stone!), lose various of the tiny round cut diamonds and misshape the ring – but it still means as much to me today as it did on the day I bought it. I wear it just below my wedding and engagement ring. You would never know that this ring is not part of the wedding set. It’s like its meant to be!